Whitewater Giants Honored
The International Whitewater Hall of Fame and Museum recognizes and honors individuals who have made significant accomplishments in and contributions to whitewater related activities. The following inductees are being honored in the outlined categories:
Bob McNair, Massachusetts – wrote THE manual for basic river canoeing techniques; instrumental in forming American Whitewater Affiliation uniting clubs across America; key proponent for forming American Canoe Association Slalom Committee.
Rob Lesser, Boise, Idaho – set the standard for exploratory kayaking on big, Class V, water; first to run the Grand Canyon of the Stikine in Northern Canada, the North Fork of the Payette; several first descents on difficult rivers in U.S. and Canada.
Davey Hearn, Bethesda, Maryland – two time World Champion gold medalist in single canoe (C-1), six times team gold, and eight times a silver medalist; dominating force in canoe slalom producing paddling techniques and boat design innovations over a 26 year competitive career; holder of Top 10 Sportsman of the Year award by U.S. Olympic Committee.
Jon Lugbill, Richmond, Virginia – only athlete in history to have won 12 World Championship gold medals; recognized as best paddler ever in whitewater canoeing (C-1) competition; NBC commentator in two Olympics; winner of Wheaties “Search for Champions”, U.S. Olympic Top 10 Sportsman of the Year and several other national awards.
Payson Kennedy, Wesser, North Carolina – co-founded Nantahala Outdoor Center built it into the largest outdoor/education/training center in the world – won six National Championships in two-man canoe (C-2); ardent supporter of slalom and wildwater racing helping to produce several U.S. Olympic racers.
Charlie Walbridge, Bruceton Mills, West Virginia – work in whitewater safety and rescue saved countless lives and is known and imitated worldwide – numerous accomplishments and contributions including safety/rescue devices, speaking engagements and publications over 40 year active participation – many National honors.
Life Time Achievement Award
Established and sponsored by the Adventure Sports Center International Board of Directors was awarded this year to Bill Endicott in recognition and honor for his outstanding and substantial life-long contributions to whitewater sports and related activities nationally and internationally.
Bill Endicott, Bethesda, Maryland – US Whitewater Team Coach for 16 years; vastly influenced whitewater slalom in the US and Internationally for 30 years; coached athletes who won 57 medals in World Championship, World Cup, and Olympic competitions, 27 of them gold; co-created the Canoe Slalom World Cup held on at least two continents every year since 1988; authored five books on whitewater and racing.